The transformative power of reading

This is a wonderful article featuring a speech by Nancie Atwell, speaking at the Clinton Global Initiative.
In March, Nancie was awarded the Global Teacher Prize.
By Valerie Strauss.  The Washington Post, October 17, 2015.


Shaun Tan on writing picture story books









With the release of Shaun Tan’s latest book The Singing bones – it is interesting to read his reflection on writing children’s picture story books.

PICTURE BOOKS: Who Are They For?

By Shaun Tan

One of the questions I am most frequently asked as a maker of picture books is this: ‘Who do you write and illustrate for?’ It’s a little difficult to answer, as it’s not something I think about much when I’m working alone in a small studio, quite removed from any audience at all. In fact, few things could be more distracting in trying to express an idea well enough to myself than having to consider how readers might react!

Read more…

Claire Zorn – Winner CBCA Book of the Year 2015



I often say that I write for my seventeen year-old-self, right now my seventeen year-old-self is standing here saying ‘What the frig? How did this happen?’. I’m the kid who had a panic attack in the middle of her first HSC English exam and left. I’m not here because of the wonders of our education system, I am a glitch in the system. I’ve had the opportunity to visit a number of high schools recently and I’m not sure all that much has changed. When it comes to education we are very concerned with rankings and bell curves.  It’s worth noting that I was discouraged from taking on what was then called three unit related English because my ranking wasn’t high enough. We want our kids to perform. We teach them to play Tchaikovsky by rote, but disable their ability to write their own music. I had teachers who fought against the obsession with marks and rankings and focused on nurturing my creativity, but I think that is like trying to light a candle in a cyclone, if you will allow me to get a bit Elton John.

Read more…

Byron Bay Writers Festival – recommended reads

Bob BrownOptimism.
Why it is still worthwhile defending this planet

Matthew CondonThree crooked kings and jacks and jokers

The epic story of police corruption in Qld

Robyn DavisonTracks

A woman’s journey across the outback of Australia.

Claire DunneMy year without matches

A year living without modern conveniences

Malcolm FraserDangerous allies

Australia’s foreign policy and international alliances

Ashley HayThe railway man’s wife.

Kate HoldenIn my skin

The memoir of a sex worker

Jono Lineen Into the heart of the Himalayas

This author explores the culture, religion and people of the Himalayas, as well as taking a personal journey to recover from the loss of his brother.

Hugh MacKay The good life

Social commentary

Kate McClymont He who must be Obeid

Power broker Eddie Obeid, corruption in NSW

Tara Moss The fictional woman 

Social commentary on the role of women

Virginia PetersHave you seen Simone?

Mystery disappearance of a young girl

Chris Sarra (founding chairman of the Stronger Smarter Institute) – Good morning Mr. Sarra.

John SafranMurder in Mississippi 

Race relationships, white supremacists, murder and mayhem in the southern states of the US

Jeanette WintersonThe daylight gate

Witch craft and superstition

M.L.StedmanThe light between oceans

A compelling tale of love and loss on a remote lighthouse island.
Humans of New York – photographs capturing the spirit of a city

Online reading – local author Steph Bowe

A great read…particularly for the romantics amoungst us… click on this banner (link)  to read this short story by local author, Steph Bowe.  She has also provided links to songs you can play while you listen.

You can use this short story as one of your reading assessment tasks.  See below…

Add a commnent – what did you think?  (Click on ‘no comments’ to add yours!)




Reading assessment task (RATS) – Fairy tales

Fairy tales

Examine the fairy tales of Hans Christian Andersen and the Brothers Grimm, to present a report which analyses the works of these writers

Consult your library to answer these and other questions:

  • What is a fairy tale?
  • Are fairy tales timeless? Are they outdated today?
  • Why do they appeal to children as well as to adults?
  • Are they designed purely to entertain a child or do they operate on a deeper level?

Extension activity:

Write your own endless fairy tale.  Print the task sheet here: Fairy tale task sheet

Rookie – an online magazine for girls.

Rookie is an online magazine for girls.  It invites you to add your own written material.

It’s founder and editor is a 16 year old girl, Tavi Gevinson.  She began blogging at 11, commenting on a wide range of topics including fashion and world affairs.

She felt “there wasn’t a magazine for teenage girls that respected its readers intelligence”…and so Rookie was established.

Check it out here:

Rookie - an online magazine for girls

Skip to toolbar